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The Budget

Formulation of the budget proposal

The formulation of the budget proposal starts in January, once the ministries have presented their spending limits proposals to the Ministry of Finance. The proposals on spending limits are an integral part of the multi-annual financial and operational planning of the ministries and agencies. Central government spending limits for future years are then drawn up at the Ministry of Finance, which are endorsed in Government in March.

Budget formulation then continues in the ministries on the basis of the decision on spending limits and on procedural guidelines issued by the Ministry of Finance. The ministries issue their own guidelines to the government agencies, and the agencies draw up their draft budgets in the course of the spring. The ministries then formulate a draft budget for the whole of their branch of government from the plans submitted by the agencies and hand it to the Ministry of Finance in May. In addition, ministries may propose changes to the decision on spending limits, based on reasoned adjustments, and the proposed changes are submitted to the Government for consideration together with the budget proposal.

The draft budgets of the ministries are processed at the Ministry of Finance in the course of the spring and summer. The Minister of Finance reaches a decision on the Ministry’s position on the budget proposal in July or August and hands the proposed budget to the ministries. It is simultaneously released on the Internet.

Government budget session in August

Based on the position paper of the Ministry of Finance, a series of negotiations are held between the Ministry of Finance and each ministry over the spending limits with a view to settling any differences of opinion over the size of appropriations. Following this round of negotiations, the whole Government considers the draft budget prepared by the Ministry of Finance in the Government budget session, which nowadays lasts two days. At the budget session, the Government substantively endorses the content of the budget proposal.

Parliament approves the Budget in December

Once the Ministry of Finance has finalized the budget proposal, it is officially presented to the Government and is submitted to Parliament for consideration at the start of the autumn session. After the Parliamentary Finance Committee has presented its report on the proposal, the Budget is adopted in a plenary session of Parliament in December.

A supplementary budget is presented if necessary

If essential needs to revise the adopted Budget should arise, supplementary budget proposals can be presented to Parliament. In general, the same procedures are applied in drawing up supplementary budget proposals as in formulating the Budget.

Printable version

Further information

Annual schedule


Spending limits proposals of ministries to the Ministry of Finance


Government sets overall spending limits


Ministries present their draft budgets to Ministry of Finance


Ministry of Finance informs ministries of its position on their draft budgets

Government considers budget proposal (budget session)


Government presents budget proposal to Parliament


The Parliamentary Finance Committee discusses the budget proposal before its consideration in a plenary session of Parliament.

The Finance Committee (website of the Finnish Parliament)


Target schedule for formulating the 2010 Budget Proposal

The State budget process, diagram (pdf, 19 kb)

Introduction to Finland's financial administration (pdf, 19 kb)

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